Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, November 21, 2022

Why Children Learn So Quickly

From Brown University:

Children are remarkable for their ability to quickly and easily learn massive amounts of new information. A new study shows that the key behind this ability to rapidly process ABCs and 123s is spelled “GABA.”

GABA is the abbreviation for the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid. In the study, published in the journal Current Biology, researchers explain GABA’s crucial role in helping children process new information and prepare their brains to learn and store even more.

“What we found is a rapid increase in GABA in children, associated with learning,” said lead study author Takeo Watanabe, a professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown University.

It’s a revelatory finding, Watanabe said — and surprising, as well. Up until now, there has been no clear neuroscientific evidence to explain why children learn more efficiently than adults. What has been known, for at least a century, is that the adult brain needs a cooling-off period after learning new information.

Read more here.

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